We know that firefighters and pick-up trucks go hand in hand – but sweating at the gas pump has many non-electric vehicles owners wondering if making the switch will save them money in the long run.
Between rising gas prices and ongoing climate concerns, you might be considering switching to an electric vehicle (EV). Like with any large purchase, it’s a good idea to do some research. One of the top questions that many people ask before making the switch to an EV car is if it will save them money on a daily basis. The quick answer is yes, but there are other things to also consider, too.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding about whether or not to get an EV.
Why are electric cars so popular?
From climate change to saving money on gas, there are many reasons why more and more drivers are opting for electric cars. Not only are they the preferred choice by many governments and companies, but there are also many incentives helping to boost the EV market.
Whether you’re leaning towards getting an EV because of social responsibility or because you want to save money long-term, there’s no denying that they’ll continue to grow in popularity with so many options to choose from.
When EVs first came into the market they had a hefty price tag. But now with continual technology advancements, they are becoming more affordable for the general public. The cost of a new electric car ranges from around $32,000 to $160,000 and can be leased or financed like gas cars. Also because of the increase in demand, there are more used EVs on the market for those wanting to pay less.
When it comes to gas, the average Canadian driver who drives 20,000 km per year will save on average $2,000 annuallyOpen in a new window – and that figure is increasing with the constant rise of gas prices. Want to find out exactly how much you could save to help you decide if you should buy an electric car? Use an electric car calculatorOpen in a new window for an estimate of the potential savings.
Another thing to keep in mind is that EVs have fewer parts than gas cars. EV’s have 200 parts while gas cars have 2,000. And fewer parts means less maintenance, which is another huge benefit.
So, is it worth it to buy an electric car? Let the electric vehicle benefits speak for itself.
Canada’s federal rebates and incentives for EVs
To encourage Canadians to buy an electric vehicle, the government introduced the iZEV programOpen in a new window in 2019. It offers an incentive for those considering purchasing an EV.
- $5,000 off the purchase price of a qualifying new battery electric vehicle
- $2,500-$5,000 on a plug-in hybrid (depending on battery size)
- Up to $5,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle
TIP: Check to make sure the make and model of EV is eligible for the iZEV programOpen in a new window. Also, you only qualify for one rebate under the iZEV program per calendar year.
There are also numerous provincial incentives for purchasing an EV. Take a look at this list of provincial rebates and incentive programsOpen in a new window to help you save even more.
More widely available charging stations
When EVs were first launched into the market, it was the lack of availability of charging stations that was a major turn-off for buying an EV. This was compared to gas stations, which have always been widely available for drivers to easily fill up when needed. Thankfully, battery life has improved, as well as the charging infrastructure across CanadaOpen in a new window and many parts of the world. It’s in everyone’s best interest to have charging stations readily available as governments and corporations pledge to do more to reduce climate change.
TIP: Once you’ve decided to make the exciting switch to an EV, the next step is choosing the right charger for you. Here are 7 questions to ask before buying an electric vehicle charger.
Should I buy an electric car or a hybrid car?
At the end of the day, choosing an EV vs a hybrid is a personal preference. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Remember – the main difference between the two types of cars is that a hybrid, as the name would suggest, uses both a battery and gas to drive. When the battery that feeds the electric motor is drained of power, a gasoline-powered engine kicks in. On the other hand, an electric car is fully battery-powered and runs off electricity.
With this in mind, think about your commute (if you have one) and how much usage your car gets. For drivers that typically take shorter trips, an electric vehicle may be a good option. But, for those with a longer commute, a plug-in hybrid may be a wiser choice.
TIP: If you’re no longer commuting to work or if you’re starting to go into the office part-time, it’s a good idea to let your insurance company know what your annual mileage is. If you’re a Sonnet customer, you can easily update your daily commute from your account online in a few easy clicks.
Are electric cars more sustainable?
In short – yes. According to Transport Canada, transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in CanadaOpen in a new window. So since electric cars produce much lower amounts of greenhouse gases than gas-powered vehicles, they’re more sustainable which is a huge benefit. This is still true taking into consideration the vehicle’s entire life cycle, from the resources used to make it to recycling it at the end of its life.
It’s important to note where the electricity that’s used to “fuel” the vehicle comes from. Does the electricity needed for charging come from a clean renewable source such as solar panels, wind turbines, or hydroelectric energy? Or does the electricity come from fossil fuels? Keep this in mind when labeling electric cars as zero emissions.
Thankfully, most of Canada’s electricity comes from hydro and nuclear energy, which are both low emitting greenhouse gas sources. All this to say, by switching to an EV, the average Canadian driver can reduce their car’s greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90%Open in a new window. So, while not perfect, an EV is a step towards having a lighter impact on the environment.
Insuring your electric vehicle
You might be wondering “do electric cars need insurance?” Although more advanced in technology, owning an EV doesn’t make your car any different when it comes to auto insurance. By law, it’s mandatory to have it.
Are electric cars cheaper to insure?
Typically, it costs slightly more to insure an electric vehicleOpen in a new window. The reason for this is that it can be more costly to repair an electric vehicle if you get into an accident or if your car is stolen and needs to be replaced. But remember, your auto insurance premium will heavily depend on other factors like your driving history, age, and where you live. Whether you drive an EV or not, the make and model of any vehicle will affect the price of auto insurance so it’s a good idea to get a quote online.
TIP: Become a FLO member and get access to over 55,000 public charging stations across North America. Plus, FLO members can save on home and auto insurance with an exclusive discount.
How much does it cost to insure an electric car?
The cost to insure an electric car will depend on many things. To determine the exact cost you’ll be paying to insure your electric car, you’ll need to get a quote – it takes less than 5 minutes online. You’re unique and so is your auto insurance premium. To give you a ballpark range, the median cost of auto insurance with Sonnet in Canada is $1,706. That’s about the amount the average Canadian spends on gas – thankfully you’ll be pocketing this all this extra cash.
Do electric cars have the same insurance coverage?
Yes, electric car policies feature the same coverage optionsOpen in a new window as gas cars. However, it’s important to remember that car insurance is different based on the province you live in. Typical auto policies include things like liability, accidents, collision and comprehensive coverages. Since EVs can be more expensive to repair or replace, you might want to consider optional coverage such as collision and comprehensive. When in doubt, review your policy so you know what’s covered and what’s not.
TIP: Still wondering “How much auto insurance do I really need?” Review all the options and get the coverage that’s right for you.
If you’re thinking about getting an electric vehicle, it’s important to review the pros and cons. Consider things like your driving habits, the price of auto insurance, what you can afford, incentives you might qualify for, and what charging would look like for you. It’s safe to say that the EV market is only going to continue growing so it’s very likely you’ll see more of them on the road.
Join the EV revolution – charge up, buckle in, and drive into the sunset!
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